Development & Alumni Relations Office 


01 November 2018  


Les Black, a 1994 BSc graduate in Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research, has swapped the world of data analysis and computer programming to follow his dreams of becoming a professional artist.


Born in Belfast, educated at Methodist College and with an aptitude in art, Les was selected as one of the top GCSE students in Northern Ireland in 1989, with his work singled out for inclusion in a promotional tour of the country that year.


Following his undergraduate degree at Queen’s, Les went on to study with the Graduate Management Training Programme in Belfast, before moving to London. There he spent a number of years as a data analysist working with Network Rail, SERCO Docklands and Thompson Reuters before becoming a consultant designer. A member of the Irish Computer Society, his specialism is Visual Basic.


Les returned to Northern Ireland in 2017 and decided to act on a long held dream of becoming a professional artist.


“In the same way that there are patterns inherent in mathematics – which is, of course, the symbolic representation of nature – my art, too, focuses on these patterns,” said Les.


“Art for me is a journey of discovery exploring natural and the manmade patterns that exist in the word around us.


“This could be a definition of what mathematics is! Look out for the natural patterns present in my art work,” he added.


His Belfast studio specialises in black and white line drawings of people, animals, landscapes and buildings. Many of his works have been rendered digitally in colour and are available as wall posters in vinyl, canvas or paper.


Among his paintings are a number of buildings and scenes – in London (Canary Wharf), Italy (Venice lagoon), and closer to home in Bangor, Donaghadee and Newtownards – and of champion chess players, including Russian grandmaster Garry Kasparov.


Les’s website states that his mission is to ‘provide socially meaningful art at accessible prices…produced to provide the customer with an experience that will invoke memories of past and present’. Some of his work, according to the site, also has a ‘subliminal message’ which could be about ‘politics, social injustice or mathematics!’


As part of the launch of this new chapter in his life Les has produced an A1 sized poster of the main Queen’s Lanyon building (featured above), which is available to purchase on his website.


He also specialises in producing time-lapse art videos that show his art production process from pencil drawing to final finished product which can be viewed on his YouTube channel.


For further details or to discuss possible commissions Les Black can be contacted by email or via his website


General enquiries about this news story to Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office, Queen’s University Belfast, tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5321.


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